An engineering team from Weber State College will compete with teams from 30 other colleges and universities in 18 states and Canada for a chance to enter the 1989 SAE Methanol Marathon - an attempt to determine if methanol is an viable alternative to gasoline.

A panel of judges from business and government will pick 15 of the 31 teams to compete in the event, sponsored by General Motors Corp., the Chevrolet Motor Division, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources.The selection will be based on the technical merits of proposals to convert 1988 Chevrolet Corsicas for methanol use.

On Nov. 21, GM will hold a pre-rally kickoff at its technical center in Warren, Mich., for the 15 finalists. Each team will get a Chevrolet Corisca LT, equipped with a 2.8 liter multisport fuel-injected V6 engine, plus a kit to help them convert the vehicle to operate on a mixture of 85 percent methanol and 15 percent gasoline.

The marathon will begin April 28, 1989, in Detroit where the cars will be inspected and judges hear reports from the students on how they converted the vehicles. The rally will begin the next day and will conclude in Washington, D.C., May 3.